Infants born into care in Scotland (2008-2021)
Embargo end date16/05/2023
This is an update of our previous report 'Born into Care 2008-2017' that compared rates of children under one year of age becoming looked after by Local Authorities (LAs) in Scotland and in England. The focus of this updated report is on children starting care under one year (infants), who make up a large proportion of children in care (2008-2021). This updated report extends that analysis by a further three years, the last two of which included lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This report also presents analyses that provide a more developed understanding of placement outcomes and ultimate destinations for infants up to the end of their childhood. Despite remaining at a high level, we have seen a small decline in infant removals in Scotland in the last three years, in contrast to comparable rates England that have risen over the same period. The COVID-19 pandemic had a much smaller effect on the rate of entry into care for children entering care under 1 year than for older children. Detailed patterns of infants’ entry into care over the period of the pandemic suggest that the decline in Scotland could not be explained by the effect of lockdown. We hope that this downward trend will continue, enabling more parents to care safely for their infant.